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10 Must Reads for the CRE Industry Today (May 7, 2019)

Tech companies are creating an environment to trade real estate through instant buying, according to The New York Times. Retailers on Manhattan’s Fifth Avenue struggle to justify high rents, reports the Wall Street Journal. These are among today’s must reads from around the commercial real estate industry.

  1. Silicon Valley Is Coming for Your House “In today’s on-demand digital world, buying and selling a home remains stubbornly, painfully analog. Most sales still begin with a real estate agent (and a 6 percent commission). Most still end in an office, with the two sides signing page after page of legalese.” (The New York Times)
  2. Fifth Avenue Losing Luster as Vacancies Climb, Rents Fall “Global retailers once seemed to pay whatever it took to lease space on Manhattan’s Fifth Avenue. That doesn’t appear to be the case anymore.” (Wall Street Journal, subscription required)
  3. Airbnb, Marriott Battle Upstarts for Short-Term Rental Market “In the niche between Airbnb Inc.’s home rentals and traditional hotel rooms, a new breed of startup is offering a hybrid option aiming to merge the best of both worlds.” (Wall Street Journal, subscription required)
  4. Amazon Go Opens for the First Time in New York. And the Cashier-Free Store Will Accept Cash “Amazon is finally bringing its cashier-less convenience store to New York. And it will also mark the first time this type of store, called Amazon Go, accepts cash.” (CNBC)
  5. VTS Raises $90M to Join the Ranks of Unicorns “Real estate tech firm VTS has raised $90 million in its latest funding round, an investment that catapults it into the ranks of unicorns, or startups valued at $1 billion or more.” (The Real Deal)
  6. Retailers Risk ‘Wave of Fear’ as Trump Renews Threats on Tariffs “Many retailers face significant risks if President Trump’s threat of 25 percent tariffs become reality, according to analysts.” (Bloomberg)
  7. Will Senior Housing Investment Surpass 2018 Volumes? “Senior housing investment appetite is continuing to grow alongside the daily growing demographic of people aged 65 and older.” (
  8. How a New Law Promises to Make NYC’s Greenest Buildings Obsolete “After the New York City Council passed a landmark package of bills last month that requires landlords of midsize and large buildings to dramatically slash their energy usage, the real estate industry began scrambling to figure out how it can grapple with the city’s new and expensive standards.” (Commercial Observer)
  9. Momentum Persists for Industrial, Office Sectors, Lags for Retail “The future still bodes well for the office and industrial sectors, according to the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors 2019 Q1 U.S. Commercial Property Monitor report.” (Commercial Property Executive)
  10. Commercial Lending in U.S. Remains Strong in 2019 “According to CBRE Research, commercial real estate lending activity in the U.S. was strong in the first quarter of 2019, with equity and debt markets calmed by the Federal Reserve's decision to hold firm on rates.” (World Property Journal)
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